Comair to slash jobs
April 16, 2001: 6:07 p.m. ET

Delta's subsidiary also plans to cut fleet size to maintain financial health
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Three weeks after its pilots went on strike, Comair -- the nation's second-largest regional airline -- said Monday it is shedding 17 of its 119 aircraft and taking other steps to preserve its financial strength. Comair is a division of Delta Air Lines.

"These are regrettable, but necessary business decisions brought about by the economic reality of a prolonged strike," Comair President Randy Rademacher said in a prepared statement.

graphicRademacher said Comair is retiring its 9 Embraer-120 Brasilia aircraft, which were scheduled to be retired in September, and removing eight regional jets from its fleet. The airline also will indefinitely defer all future aircraft purchases and reduce future flight schedules.

The steps are "necessary to preserve capital, reduce costs and put Comair in a better position to maintain its competitiveness when operations resume," a Comair press release says.

About 200 pilot positions will be eliminated as a result of the fleet reduction, the company said.

Comair operated more than 800 daily flights to 95 cities in the United States, Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico, before pilots walked off the job March 28th.

Comair and its pilots had been negotiating a new contract for the past three years. The pilots want higher pay, a company-funded retirement plan, more rest between flights and pay for all hours they are on the job, not just actual flying hours.

Shares of Delta (DAL: Research, Estimates) closed Monday's trading down 4 cents at $41.  graphic